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Experiential education is a philosophy of education that describes the process that occurs between a teacher and student that infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content.[1] The term is not interchangeable with experiential learning; however experiential learning is a sub-field and operates under the methodologies of experiential education.[2] The Association for Experiential Education regards experiential education as "a philosophy that informs many methodologies in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people's capacity to contribute to their communities".[3] Experiential education is the term for the philosophy and educational progressivism is the movement which it informed.

Education by direct experience is a central part of clinical training such as surgery